Retro style signage installed at award-winning Norfolk railway station

Published on: Tuesday, 28 February 2023
Last updated: Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Brundall gardens retro sign

Above: The new running in board at Brundall Gardens. Pictured from left: Gillian Lincoln, station adopter, Martin Halliday, Wherry Lines CRP, Greg Chandler, station adopter and Phil Hogg, Greater Anglia's Asset Management Project Delivery Site Manager.

New signage has been installed at Brundall Gardens Station combining a modern twist with a nod to the past.

Brundall Gardens station on the Wherry Lines between Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft has been cared for by adopter and nearby resident, Greg Chandler for almost 20 years and his efforts have seen the station recognised with awards and a special wildlife friendly accreditation.

Over the past few months, the station has received substantial investment by train operator, Greater Anglia, which has included the resurfacing of platforms and a new lighting scheme. The recent works have enabled some changes to the station planting and this has enabled new station name signs known within the rail industry as Running in Boards to be installed.

The new signs have been funded by the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership and are a modern twist on the original signage in place when the station opened as a halt in the 1920s.

Construction of the signage has been a family affair with Greg building the frames and his son, a cabinet maker, creating the mahogany architrave. Greater Anglia’s project delivery site manager, Phil Hogg who has been overseeing the station improvement scheme assisted with the installation.

Station Adopter Greg Chandler said, “I’ve wanted to reinstate the traditional Running in Boards at the station for several years, having seen them pictured in old photographs. When the project to install new lighting at the station began, it was necessary to remove some of the hedging and this gave the opportunity to create a little more space, enabling the installation of the new signs.

“They are a modern take on the original signage and I am grateful to Phil Hogg at Greater Anglia for his assistance in installing them and to the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership for providing the funding.”

Martin Halliday, Community Rail development Officer added; “We were delighted to assist Greg with funding for new signage at Brundall Gardens. Based upon original designs from the 1920s, these splendid additions include a modern element that will make them more friendly for passengers. We are continually looking to improve station signage across the area and where possible incorporating larger signs which are also helpful for those with dementia.”

As part of Greater Anglia’s upgrade of the station, the project team has also installed a specially constructed composting unit donated by principal contractor Braybrook and will be assisting with new planting in the spring.

Phil Hogg, project delivery site manager at Greater Anglia said; “We have worked closely with Greg and Gillian to carefully undertake improvements to the station infrastructure, the work involved removing a substantial amount of hedging, new lighting, and re-surfacing and we were pleased to be able to support efforts to install this excellent new signage.”

The railway station opened in 1924, some 80 years after the line first opened, and was initially named Brundall Gardens Halt. The station was jointly funded by the railway and cinema impresario Mr. Frederick Cooper who owned the adjacent Brundall Gardens. It was built to support visitors to the lakes, waterways and a restaurant which were part of the original gardens. Today, around 14,000 people use the station annually, a mixture of residents and those visiting the nearby marina.

The station is adopted by Greg Chandler and Gillian Lincoln and features a fascinating array of planting, supporting bees and butterflies. The recent works at the station has facilitated additional space for new planting schemes which Gillian is currently planning.

The station was the first in the region to receive accreditation for its wildlife friendly environment and Greg and the volunteer team have been recognised at both regional and national level for their efforts.

Brundall gardens 1960's sign

Above: Brundall Gardens Halt signage circa 1960 (courtesy Graham Kenworthy Collection)